Seattle Designer

Confessions of a Graphic Designer

i'm a graphic designer who loves words. - terri nakamura


"Graphic Design"

"Social Media"

"Digital Media"

Should Every Follower Be Followed Back?

"Communications"

"Verizon Lifestyle Blogger"
Illustration purchased on iStockphoto.com

Common sense says you should follow whomever you want. But recently I read a post by a blogger who felt everyone on Twitter—especially those in "leadership" positions—should follow everyone back.

It might sound good in theory, but here are some thoughts to ponder:

Some followers may not be worthy of a follow back. If you check before you click the "follow" button, you might find:

• Accounts that have posted no tweets.

Maybe their abandoned accounts have been taken over by squatters, or they could be fake accounts created for people who buy followers.

Questionable content — X-Rated timelines; "Tweeps" (Twitter peeps) who use a lot of foul language; Businesses that tweet exclusively about their products and services; Tweeps who post spam or tweet the same message over and over

• Accounts that broadcast one-way outgoing feeds with no interaction with anyone

• Those who use TrueTwit validation to weed out "bots." TrueTwit DMs are off-putting, so they end up weeding out people, too

• Tweeps whose timelines are primarily Foursquare notifications, or shares about what they are watching on television or YouTube

• Someone with a private account.
You can't view their timelines, and it forces you to request to follow them back without being able to see what they tweet

• People who tweet in another language

Some observations about following:

It takes time and energy to curate a timeline that offers value. Some people work hard to earn their follows by establishing connections, engaging and sharing interesting content.

Recently I did an audit and found I was following more than 500 people who hadn't tweeted in up to two years, plus hundreds more who hadn't tweeted in three months or longer. Social sites like Twitter experience growth as well as attrition when discovered by new users. If they lose interest, often their accounts go dormant.

Dormant or inactive followers may have a negative impact on your account from an analytic standpoint. Rating entities like Klout, , Kred and PeerIndex are looking not only at the number of followers you have, but also how many engaged followers you have.

Why follow someone who hasn't tweeted for a long time?

If you know someone in real life, on the off-chance they check to see if you're still there, it's probably best to keep the connection.

You "meet" a nice tweep, and they disappear. Real-life trumps virtual, and they might be on an extended break. If you keep the connection, it's not unusual for people to resurface.

For personal reasons There are two people I follow who are actually DEAD. I continue to follow them out of my regard for them while they were alive.

Following everyone back can backfire. Some well-known tweeps were following a troll . Though well-regarded, they don't check out their followers. By returning a troll's follow, they implicitly gave him their stamp of approval.

Often people passively follow someone, then feel bugged and unfollow if they aren't followed back. If you want someone to follow you, try sending them a tweet directly. It's more likely to get their attention and get them to follow you.

While some people feel good because there are accounts who will follow back every person, they're the exception rather than the rule.

What makes a good follow back? It depends on what you seek. I like to follow people who engage, or share things of interest to me. As one of my early mentors, @raybeckerman , once told me, it's good to see a mixture of content and conversations. It points to an active participant in this global chat room we call Twitter.

A few ways to determine a good follow back:

• If you enjoy conversing with someone and find they're following you
• Read the bio or check out blog links/URLs
• Look at timelines to see if you like the kinds of things they share,
• If you have friends in common and trust their judgment


Even if someone's timeline is completely flooded with conversations, not every person is followed because of their content. Sometimes they are followed because they are friendly, interesting, fun or nice!

There aren't any fail-safe indicators, but taking time to see if you really want to follow someone will help you build a nice community for yourself.

People who vet followers can become targets of poachers

It's useful to check out your followers, but it's also time consuming. And those who vet their followers are sometimes used by others.

How?

People focused on building big followings can target accounts they know care about the quality of the people they follow. When a targeted account follows someone, the "poachers" will follow them, too, using tools like Tweetadder . Since poachers are often popular people, they know it's almost certain they will be followed back. Poaching makes it easy for them to add quality followers without investing much time.

Poaching is a bit like having someone look over your shoulder to copy your test answers in school, but where that would be cheating in the real world, it's not against Twitter's terms of service.

Each of us has the right to follow, not follow, UNfollow, or block people for whatever reasons are chosen.

Do you agree? What are your thoughts about following everyone back?

Thanks to Eleanor Jodway for being an early reader of this post
Illustration purchased on iStockphoto.com

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60 Comments:

Blogger Mike said...

I discovered the same issue with individuals I was following that were basically defunct. Very frustrating. On the other hand it takes sop long to go through your list it boggles my mind. I only want real Twitters and not bought or spam Twitters. I do think and feel obligated if a person or entity is real, to follow them back. Great blog!

11:44 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Hi, Mike!

Thanks for reading and commenting.

The prevailing wisdom has been this: if you want to grow your following, follow back every real person. But it's never an obligation :-) It's always your choice!

It would be an onerous task to go through one's twitter list one by one. That's why automated software is employed to identify inactive tweeps.

I think that's why it pays to pay attention up front. There will be fewer spam or fake accounts to purge.

We are enjoying an insanely beautiful sunny day in Seattle today. I hope the sun is shining wherever you are! Also, I like your hat!

Cheers/Terri

3:06 PM  
Blogger lisa grant said...

I started on Twitter in August, so I am still developing an outlook for it all. My instincts have led me to follow those I find interesting. If they are fairly new to twitter and don't follow me back within some reasonable amount of time, I may unfollow them. If extremely informative or fun accounts which are popular don't follow me back, thats ok. It's impossible for anyone to follow, with value; 68 thousand people.

I always follow back people whom I find interesting. It's easier to check as you go; as opposed to try and go back and weed through. Thank you for the insight!

4:49 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Hi, Lisa, and thanks for reading and commenting!

Sounds like you have a great methodology for building your community on Twitter. Sometimes it's fun to follow a newbie and show them the ropes, but it can take time to do that. People are usually very grateful for whatever advice and help they receive.

I understand how people can have hundreds of thousands of followers, but really wonder how one manages to cultivate relationships with more than a few hundred people?

Thanks again for stopping by!

Cheers/Terri

12:45 PM  
Blogger Jolie B Studios said...

Its been probably a year or so since I've done and audit; I thought truetwit was great at first, then it got really spammy and it just seems to abrupt for me, so I dropped that too a year or so ago; As for whether to follow or not follow, I too will check out their stream, they have to have a picture and a bio - if not those two, then no flw back; if I don't see anything in their stream that peaks any interest in me clicking, RTing or such I usually just save us both some time and not follow. As you mentioned above, they can tweet me if they need my attention onto something. The one unfollowing thing I began this year - - I can not stand an auto direct message. I tend to follow/unfollow when I receive a DM. There's a few cents worth. Take Care & Goodnight

12:16 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Hi, Jolie,

Thanks very much for taking the time to read and leave a comment.

It's weird what makes sense when you begin tweeting. I did the same thing, only I think I had a rotation of 4 or 5 auto DMs to thank new followers. I didn't realize it was like broadcasting you are new and don't know any better!

When someone unwittingly clicks a spam DM that causes them to send me a spam DM, I'll usually send a message back saying:

"Hi, Name. UR account has been hacked. U just spam DMed me. Change UR password & post a tweet to notify UR followers UR fixing it. Good luck."

But thankfully it's pretty rare.

Really glad to know you on Twitter, EAV & FB, and looking forward to seeing you in all of the above places!

Cheers, and thanks again,

Terri

2:25 AM  
Blogger Zoey said...

Hi Terri!

What a great subject for a post, and your advice is spot on. Twitter has been a learning experience for me in the world of social networking, and I've truly enjoyed the wonderful relationships that I've been able to cultivate with people.

The one thing that has been consistent for me, is that I tend to only follow back those who tweet content that catches my eye, are friendly and engage, and have a generally positive outlook. Since mine is a personal account, I was never interested in quantity, but quality instead. It doesn't matter how many people follow me, but it means a great deal to create rewarding connections that are mutually beneficial.

I wholeheartedly agree that every person is entitled to use Twitter as they see fit (unless it's for questionable practices, like sending spam). One of the best things about the platform is that it's such a flexible, adaptive system of use. We design our very own templates and if we truly work at it, Twitter gives us more than we ever expected.

Wish you well, dear friend!

Zoey

P.S. I'm not only selective about the people that I follow, but I also weed out those that follow me that are bots, spammers, or those with obnoxious or crude content. I want to make sure that I'm surrounded by as much positive energy as possible! ;)


12:19 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:23 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Zoey,

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. Since we've had a chance to become acquainted I know you are a very intelligent person. So it comes as no surprise to see how well you've been handling follow backs and following in general.

In the beginning for me, I would follow everyone back because it seemed like the polite thing to do, but it didn't take long to realize reciprocity is not a factor UNLESS it's mutually desired. As you point out, spammers and crude, obnoxious people are not needed in our timelines!

So happy to have your support and positive energy surrounding me, Zoey, and thank you again for the recipes!

Warm regards,

Terri

5:23 PM  
Blogger Patricia Carrier said...

Thank you for this wonderful post,,, I always follow back and only unfollow if I noticed you have unfollow me,,, I use list to screen the tweet I want to see. I still believe in the principal of reciprocaty.

Regards

Patricia

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Mac said...

When I started on twitter I was living in France. There was a tool (I forget which) that tracked who had the most followers in each country. For about 2 years I was the most followed person in France and they only followed because I was the most followed. I was the most followed in Europe for a while for the same reason.
I now follow your 7 bullets - plus an 8th. there are a lot of accounts that seem 'real' but have I'll find the same picture on multiple accounts. Kind of easy to catch, if there is a way to see all the images at the same time.

5:57 PM  
Blogger Mika Douglas said...

I enjoyed the post very much. Perhaps I have a little different philosophy on the use of social networks. I am putting my brand out their and this seems to attract people who want to know me for some reason. I let them all into my world. They don't need to active all the time. They might want to just listen and observe and that's okay too. I will unfriend someone who is abusive or blatantly promoting products but this has only happened twice in the last 2 years.
I feel that I do want to become a bit more conversational in my style and will work on this over time.

6:10 PM  
Blogger Johnny Wood said...

Right on point Terri...not every follower deserves to be followed back. There are sellers on fiverr who admittedly have hundreds or even thousands of dummy twitter accounts that they use to follow people. You made good points on the analytics aspect too. Great post :)

6:11 PM  
Blogger Rob Tee said...

I'd thought about a lot of this. But I'd never heard about people poaching popular accounts. That's kinda creepy. Also definitely following back is not something that people need to do even if they are popular. Follow who you want when you want, and make your own goals as to why you follow them.

6:12 PM  
Blogger RCToyPalace said...

Excellent post, Terri. When I started on Twitter, I garnered a large following, by getting in with #followback promotions. I also used TweetAdder to follow similar interests people. I still followback everyone, but I have started dropping inactives, and I check for unfollowers, daily. I spend most of my time on my @ page, rather than on the timeline, and interact directly with those on that page.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Stuart Wimbles said...

I set up my website Feb 2011 and did not get many views until I was given advice on twitter by someone 'in the know' Today I have just under 60k followers on twitter and a lot of traffic to my site. Twitter is a great vehicle!

I used justunfollow (and still do) to get copy followers, where you type in a name e.g @amidiabetic and you can follow everyone that follows them, which is great, as they often have the same interest as you. Some follow you back but I soon wised up to that and stopped that feature for just following anyone.

My website ami-diabetic.com (might as well give it, as its my twitter name anyway) is about, as you may have guessed diabetes. I have links to twitter on my site and many like minded diabetics are interested in the content follow me and in turn their tweeps follow me I then always follow back.

I did go a bit crazy in the very early days, following anyone and everyone. I would also unfollow any who did not follow me just the day after. Not realising that they were not glued to the PC every day like I was.

These days, I will copy follow specific persons who interact with me daily and their followers may follow me as part of the diabetic community, which is great for diabetic awareness. The down side to having so many tweeps is that the retweets can sometimes take over a little. The other day, I had 637 email notifications of retweets and the notifications on my phone can sometimes resemble the sound of a pinball machine in full flow.

I had cut my follow intake down recently until I signed up to Empire Avenue. I started to follow the odd random for eaves, which I never hear from but some DO follow back,s which works out for us both, as we both get free retweets for nothing, no eaves exchange hands. I must say that I do unfollow tweeps who follow for a few day and unfollow me. I also check my inactive followers over 3 months also I do check to see request fron new tweeps who, as I have had LOTS of erm..'naughty' ones wanting to follow me, where their link leads to adult sites, if this is the cast, I just block/report them.

Basically, you have no obligation to follow anyone. I would recommend that you check them out first. See if you have a common interest that you may get retweets from and
check who is unfollowing and are inactive to your timeline.

Quality over Quantity is a winner.

7:13 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Patricia, thanks for the great comment.

I don't think there is really a right or wrong answer. It boils doing to what feels right to each one of us.

Reciprocity is hugely appreciated. There are a number of people I follow who do not follow back, and I'm fine with it. They are accounts whose content I enjoy, so I still get a lot out of it!

It's sort of like Empire Avenue...I invest in people who don't own any of my shares. But it's all good! As long as their stock is performing, I'll keep it!

Have a great weekend, and thanks again,

Terri

1:07 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Hi, Mac,

Thanks for reading and commenting.

How cool to be the most followed person in France! That is quite an accomplishment!

I'm wondering if the application you used was TwitterGrader? http://tweet.grader.com/

It offers some nice features, like follower history, hashtags you use frequently and being able to quickly check to see if someone is following back.

In terms of multiple accounts for people, it's a fairly common practice. I have a second account used only for retweets.

There was an interesting application called "Twitter for Busy People" that allows you to scan followers by avatar. I haven't used it for a while, but see it is still "live." (http://t4bp.com/index.html)

It might be useful in identifying duplicate avatars!

Thanks again and happy Sunday!

Terri

1:17 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Mika, thanks for reading and for the comment.

I think people enjoy your vibe, so they follow and hope to get to know you. That's fantastic!

Transparency is something I value, so I prefer to follow Twitter accounts with a person's name and their photo.

The conversational part of Twitter is very rewarding. The spontaneity of tweeting back and forth engenders the growth of your online friendships, and also opens the opportunity for some very fun and entertaining exchanges.

Wishing you well, and thanks again!

Terri

1:21 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Johnny, hi!

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

I don't know a lot about Fiverr — in fact, I just learned about it (specifically) about two weeks ago. We've all seen spammers offer 10,000 followers for $5 in the midst of our timelines, but one must wonder what kind of quality is realistic to expect for so little money?

A great many people I know feel so much better having a ton of followers, even if they're fake. It seems to contradict the "social" part of "social media!"

Thanks for sharing your thought, Johnny!

Best regards, Terri

1:26 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Thanks, Rob, for reading and following.

The poaching situation *IS* rather creepy. Some people tell me outright they are following my followers to grow their accounts. But for me, the creepiest are those who are not friends, and set up automated applications to follow whomever I follow.

You can kind of tell, because all of a sudden, you find yourself in conversations with the same people!

~sigh~

You hit the nail on the head with your comment, "Follow who you want when you want, and make your own goals as to why you follow them."

Amen!

Thanks again,

Terri

1:30 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Thanks RCTP, for reading and commenting!

I've often wondered if the followback promotions work. The thing that was always curious was when someone would tweet ten people and add, "Follow back?" Then when you'd click on their profile, they weren't following. How does one "follow back" in that instance?

I'm totally with you regarding the @ replies. The @ mentions are the only things I see. Since I'm on twitter for an hour or less each day, it's the only manageable thing to do.

Dropping the inactives and unfollowers is a good way to increase the strength of your following, so good for you for doing that!

Thanks again!

Terri

1:35 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Wow, Stuart. Thank you sincerely for a really meaningful comment. It really adds a lot to the post and I hope others read and take note.

Once a month I'll use Friend or Follow to unfollow those who've lost interest in me. I used to use ManageFlitter and justunfollow, and Refollow for the same things. The automated unfollows can be a problem, though. If you dump too many people at once, Twitter doesn't like it and sometimes sanctions people who purge too great a volume.

Isn't it funny how we think people are nailed to their new follower list? I used to be on top of it, but now only check every week or two. That means people who lose patience and have probably dropped me before I even know they were there!

Common interests are great, but surprising and rewarding connections emerge from random people sometimes!

Thank you again, Stuart, and I'm wondering if I'm following you? I will look.

By the way, I think it's wonderful you have established a community for people with diabetes. Thanks for all the support and education you are providing.

Happy Sunday,

Terri

1:46 AM  
Blogger Ray Beckerman said...

Wow, I'm honored you consider me one of your "early mentors", Terri :) Because you are truly one of the stars in the Twitter firmament :)

Thank you for that, and for an excellent and thoughtful article.

I agree with you on just about everything you said.

I routinely go through those I'm following and start unfollowing some of those who are inactive, which I define as not having tweeted for 90 days.

I also usually unfollow people who aren't following me. There are certain types of accounts for which I make an exception: certain news media, or small nonprofits with important causes or valuable information. I'm not one of those who routinely follows celebrities.

As to the general types of people I will follow back, I usually try to find people who are interactive, who have values similar to mine, and/or whose general style of communicating I like.

But we're all different. I have a personal preference for people who have liberal and progressive political values, and who share links to good information and analysis. If I'm followed by some rightwing political tweeter looking for an argument I will NEVER follow them back. I also have a thing for using social media to promote independent musicians, so I'll often follow an indie musician even when I don't think their tweeting style is that great.

Everyone's got their own personality, and everyone's going to do things differently, but the point you make -- that we should stay on top of who we're following and should NOT follow back blindly -- is important.

12:50 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:24 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Ray,

Thanks so much for reading and commenting! I'm the one who is honored~!

I don't know if you remember when we first met, maybe 5 years ago, when I would DM you asking you questions? You were so nice to answer them and I've always remembered your kindnesses.

Instead of politics, my soft spot is creative people, whether they are writers, designers, photographers or those of similar stripes. I'll look at a timeline and think, "Hmmm. It looks like there are some great tweets here, and worth retweeting!"

But on the other hand, sometimes a person will start a conversation with me and it's enjoyable. We'll have nothing in common except an interest in that particular topic, but the connection blossoms into something greater, all because of a random encounter.

Thank you for being there for me and so many others, Ray. I've tried to pay it forward!

(((HUGS))) Terri

1:24 PM  
Blogger Ray Beckerman said...

Well you certainly have "paid it forward", Terri... in spades :)

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Glenn Ferrell said...

Perfect ! I have very little to add to your list. Perhaps:
- Tweeps who post an endless stream of quotations,
- Obvious "bait-and-switchers", e.g. a complete stranger who has 100,000 followers and is following 10. (Pretty obvious why he followed me, and finally(with very few exceptions)...
- Tweeps who never RT anyone (ever) :)

5:33 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Thanks, Ray! You set a great example! XOX

6:09 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Glen, hi and thanks for reading & commenting.

I had to smile at your "quotations" additions, because some very well-known tweeps do that! And for whatever reason, people seem to flock to them!

The "bait and switchers" as you call them, are a weird bunch. It's like they want to have tons of adoring fans, but seem to care only for themselves and perhaps a few close friends.

Those who never RT anyone make me wonder if they understand the mechanics of doing so!?

Thanks again, and happy new week to you!

Cheers/Terri

6:12 PM  
OpenID glenn-ferrell said...

I actually like many of the quotations - but it always feels like I'm following a bot :) Happy new week back !

9:38 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Glen, I feel the same way! Probably because they post 50 to 100 per day on rotation and most don't talk to me :-)

Cheers/Terri

12:22 PM  
Anonymous kingttapa said...

Am so glad this article was written by one of the persons I respected much on twitter.

When I first got to twitter I have this blind believe that once I followed someone and tweet to you, but didn't get a reply or follow back, then the person is definitely not my type and will be unfollowed.

Recent times I have to shove the timid ideas and only follow those who I enjoyed their tweets, and have a similer timeline to mine, even if not followed.

I remembered the joy you always give to me whenever my tweets to you are always replied with warm regards.

This is a very nice article and will in future like to read more.cheers

5:07 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Hi, Kingttapa!

Thank you so much for your kind words.

When it comes to follow-backs, sometimes patience is needed. But most people who positively engage, retweet, and otherwise reach out, often will be followed back right away.

And as I said in the post, there are people I've followed for YEARS who don't follow me back! It's all good!

I'd like to mention, I've recently begun using new Twitter application because the old one is being phased out. It's caused problems for me because it's sometimes difficult to see/find mentions and retweets.

Please know how much I appreciate your following and support, and if you tweet me and don't receive a reply, please DM me to let me know! Until I get the bugs worked out, it's going to be "hit and miss!"

Wishing you well and thanks again,

Terri

12:27 PM  
Blogger Ravi Kumar said...

I dont mind following back unless the user seems like a bot. @vtrrk

1:17 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Hi, Ravi.

Thanks for the comment here. I sort of agree with you, because I don't like "bots" for the most part.

I guess the proof comes over time. If you see that you are really disinterested in what someone has to say, or maybe even find them offensive, then you unfollow them!

Wishing you a great new week!

Terri

2:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well written, strong arguments ... a helpful article for newbies, yet thought-provoking for mavens. And the best part: the discovery of a blog that is worthwhile. (To say it with Arnie: I'll be back!)

Best wishes and hasta la vista, baby (Oops!)
@michael_graef

10:17 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Hi, Michael!

You came back to comment! Hooray! And thank you!

The catalyst for writing was in response to a piece written by someone who is fairly known. She felt the mantle of leadership dictates high-profile people should follow everyone back as an example of "doing the right thing."

But blindly following back just doesn't make sense to me. As in all things, there are two sides to every story :-)

Thank you again for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it!

Best regards,

Terri

10:37 AM  
Anonymous JozieLocks said...

I thought this was a great post! Very helpful for a twitter newbie like myself. Thanks :)

7:02 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Jozie, hi and thanks for posting your comment!

When I first started tweeting 5 years ago, I spent a lot of time on the Mashable site. It proved to be invaluable. If you aren't already following @tweetsmarter, you should check'em out because they have some of the most useful social media information out there!

Thanks again and have a great week!

Cheers/Terri

9:55 PM  
Anonymous @rickpurse said...

Fantastic Twitter Tips!

5:35 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Hey, Rick! Thanks for the shout. Fun to find it tucked beneath this comment. Cheers/Terri

12:47 AM  
Blogger Tamera Weeks said...

Hello Terri,

This is a fantastic post! Your comments from readers and your replies to them are so interesting. You love words and you are good with them!

I'm not new to twitter, but I'm not sure about how to be engaged. I'm starting to get more involved and I'm working on figuring it out.

I do follow many of your principles for following back. I recently had a new follower who had no posts in English. Not much value in following back.

For a very long time I was following a bunch of people who were just businesses promoting themselves and they were boring. I couldn't figure out what was fun about twitter, because these posts were definitely not fun.

In recent months, I found people who have great content. I'm having a lot more fun reading my news feed these days.

Last week, I decided to go through my news feed and look for people who were constantly tweeting boring url's - the first people I started following years ago- and see if they still follow me. If they weren't, I unfollowed them. I was surprised and happy to see some of them are still following me even though I have been very sporadic with tweeting. Some of these people I enjoy and I'm happy they still follow me. As you said, I follow some people just because I like what they tweet and don't care about a follow back. They provide value to me.

You and I are not following each other, but I'm going to look for you now. :)) You are warm and inviting just through reading this right here. Thank you.

5:56 AM  
Blogger Bratfink said...

What a great post!

I must say that in the beginning of my Twittering I followed everyone back, which got me into a real fix when I found myself inadvertently following a LOT of Favstar people. It caused me to lose followers--and one of those was a good friend! I no longer blindly follow people and I certainly do not automatically follow anyone who is listed as a Favstar user. I truly believe most of them don't even read their incoming tweets and certainly never replied to mine. That said, I do have a few I kept because they did interact with me.

I've just recently gotten to the point where my TL has so many tweets that I sometimes can't read them all, and this is upsetting to me because I like the people I follow and want to see what they are tweeting. It may sound callous, but if they follow me then unfollow me because I didn't follow back, so be it. I generally check their TLs when I get the notification and that's when I judge. I also never follow anyone who BEGS me to follow them back!

I just wish I could get back to the point where I could read everything that came through my TL. :(

6:41 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Tamera,

Thanks so much for taking the time to read the post and offer such great feedback! And thank you for the follow! I will definitely try to find you on Twitter!

People who aren't used to engaging enjoy watching and reading conversations (both sides of the conversation are visible if you're following both people involved). In my early days, I would sometimes "lurk," because it can be a commitment to enter the party. Posting a response to something, then disappearing, isn't really engaging. (Though there are exceptions, which I'll get to in a sec.)

The long-time relationships, even if not actively interacting, can be surprising. In the past year I've found myself getting to know a few of them, and all it took was a friendly tweet asking a question.

It's often said "content is king," and I still believe that. When at first I didn't know how to "find" content I simply retweeted others. The strength in maintaining and growing a following is a combination of sharing good content as well as answering people and showing appreciation, either by saying thanks, or by retweeting content in return.

There are people who tweet at completely different times than me. But we have managed to maintain ongoing conversations by posting to tweets to each other, that often are answered up to 20 hours apart. I feel connected to them, even though we don't have the opportunity to converse in real time.

Anyhow, Tamera, I really appreciate that you took time to comment here. And as soon as I am done here, I will go straight to Twitter to find you!

Cheers and thanks,

Terri

3:47 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Bratfink,

Thanks for reading and sharing back! I do remember FavStar and how a lot of people were into it! I didn't really get how it worked, though. How would it have a negative effect on followers, I wonder? I would love to have you explain it to me!

One of the ways to get get to the "good stuff" on your timeline is through lists. I have a number of lists — both public and private — that help me find the tweets I'm interested in reading or retweeting. The drawback is, you might miss something good on the public feed. But the advantage is being able to focus on the content shared by people you designate as offering something of value to you.

I love your comment about reading everything on your timeline. Those were the days!

Bratfink, again, many thanks for the feedback! Wishing you all the best for the holidays and in the new year!

Cheers/Terri

3:48 PM  
Blogger Bratfink said...

Favstar: People who pay real money to win fake trophies for Tweets that get the most favoriting (or starring) or RTing.

This means they want you to 'fave' them (or 'star' them) or RT them, and they don't really care about your Tweets, unless you are another Favstar user.

Mind, there ARE exceptions. But in my case, they were few and far between. I've kept the exceptions. I unfollowed the rest, and they, of course, unfollowed me because I was now useless to them.

Happy holidays to you, too, and may 2014 be blessed for you. :)

1:47 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Bratfink, thank you for explaining it to me. I knew a few people who were obsessed with it but didn't get what the attraction was. One of the people was always so proud of her accomplishments!

So if you favorite a bunch of stuff that you don't really value, it negates the value of your favorites file. Weird!

Five days and counting until Christmas. I hope yours is wonderful!

Cheers/Thanks/Terri

1:56 AM  
Blogger Tamera Weeks said...

Terri,

I feel like I have a new friend in you by this post and your kind reply. Thank you for the follow on Twitter. I still feel lost, but your blog post and all of these comments are helping me.

Thank you! Thank you!

Tamera

3:08 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear T,

Thanks again! I think we have found friends in one another! Please let me know if there is ever anything I can do to help. Easiest way is to send a direct message (DM) and we will find a way to connect.

There is something to learn from each person we meet :) I'm glad we're following each other.

Here's hoping the weekend is going well for you! I'm in major "wrapping mode" and might even finish BEFORE Christmas eve!

Warm regards,

Terri

4:47 PM  
Anonymous michaelqtodd said...

Always love your blog posts Terri. I stick to pretty much the same approach as this

3:39 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Hi, Michael, and thanks for your comment here.

You're a social media maven, so I suspect you observe best practices on steroids!

Wishing you all the best,

Terri

12:38 PM  
Blogger Marc Mullendore said...

Thanks so much for this article. I was happy to see I have already adopted some of these tips and will add the others you outlined. Much appreciated!

1:12 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Marc,

Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment!

Many of the tips here are common sense, so it doesn't surprise me you are already doing some of them!

Really great to be in touch here, and on Twitter & hopefully Gplus!

Wishing you all the best!

Cheers/Hugs/Terri

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Leslie Nicole said...

This is a good post. I took a very long hiatus from Twitter. I've just started using it again. So, perhaps don't automatically delete people who haven't posted in awhile - although I can understand the reasoning why. Cheers.

9:49 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Gosh, Leslie. Thank you for reading and commenting here.

And I understand about taking a hiatus. In the past when people have taken off for an extended period of time (sometimes for a year or two), they come back and send a tweet that says, "hey, I'm back!" at which time we reconnect.

If we were mutual follows and are no longer connected, please send a shout on my timeline (with an "@" reply) and I'll remedy it!

Welcome back to Twitter!

Cheers and thanks again, Terri

1:06 PM  
Blogger Nomi said...

Do you (anyone) use different criteria regarding Following family members ? I am thinking not of my son who has gone private partly (wholly ?) to avoid me, but of several cousins who I follow and have tried to engage with....Yes, I am a newbie, but as far as I can tell my errors have been small....

6:59 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Hi, Nomi, and thanks for the questions.

I think people handle family members differently. For me, I follow everyone in my family and don't have special privacy settings. But I've heard (mostly kids) who will put parents and other relatives on a list that limits what can be seen.

Kids sometimes don't want to have any association with their parents on Facebook or similar sites because they don't want comments or criticism about what is posted or by whom.

The best thing is to give your son some space for a while. I don't know how old he is, but I can remember when our oldest son was in middle school, when we were out in public, he would walk ahead of us like he had no idea who we were! Now we are very close.

As for cousins, if you have a large family, it's easy to get lost in the crowd unless you initiate conversations with people. You could send them a DM (direct message) and ask if everything is OK?

Or try posting a question and tag 2 cousins whose opinions you would like to know, and see if they respond. Frequently people will respond when they are tagged. But most people don't want to be tagged too often.

Let me know how it goes!

Happy Mothers Day!

Cheers, Terri

11:13 AM  
Blogger Johnny said...

I enjoyed reading this article.

8:17 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Hi, Johnny!
Thank you for taking the time and for letting me know you enjoyed the article! I really appreciate the feedback!
Happy new year to you!
Terri

1:42 AM  

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